The Phoenix Public House is pouring cold pints by Parkersburg Brewing Company with a side of traditional pub fare.
Looking for someplace new to dine and sip this weekend? Look no further than the sweet little pub that’s settled into the Pines Country Club: Phoenix Public House. We caught up with PPH’s head of marketing and public relations, Michelle Hopkins, to find out more about one of Morgantown’s newest eateries.
Q: How did the concept for the Phoenix Public House come about?
Michelle Hopkins: The owners of Phoenix Public House are also co-owners of Parkersburg Brewing Company in Parkersburg—Jim Hopkins and Walt Owens of Morgantown and John Cox, Dan Curtis, and Curt Tennant of Parkersburg. There was always a strong desire to bring the Parkersburg Brewing Company brand and reputation to Morgantown, but with a twist. Adding an English-style pub feel with Chef Erik Guerrero’s culinary expertise was the perfect marriage with the Parkersburg Brewing Company’s award-winning craft beer. Incorporating the recognizable orange phoenix from the Parkersburg Brewing Company logo into the Phoenix Public House logo was another way to symbolize rebirth and rising from the ashes in the hospitality industry. The owners were approached by members in the community to entertain the idea of bringing the brand to the Pines Country Club location, and the rest is history.
Q: How was the opening weekend?
MH: Opening week was wildly successful. The ribbon cutting and grand opening occurred on March 29, and the community responded with overwhelming support. We’ve received numerous comments regarding the one-of-a-kind dish options and large variety of Parkersburg Brewing Company craft beer taps. The craft cocktails are also an attractive option for those who are seeking an alternative to beer.
Q: It’s a challenging time for the service industry, with staffing shortages, supply chain problems, and a global pandemic still creeping around. How are you guys managing? What are the biggest challenges?
MH: Like many others in the hospitality industry, we’re experiencing similar challenges. We experienced delays in receiving equipment, but the biggest challenge is staffing. We’re currently managing this by having limited hours. Culture is key to attracting talent and positive traits. An opportunity to have Chef Erik as a mentor is a dream waiting to happen for so many young culinary professionals—we just need to find each other.
Q: Tell us about the menu.
MH: The menu has one-of-a-kind dishes as well as staples such as fish and chips. There’s something for everyone, including gluten-free and vegetarian dishes. Whether you’re coming in for a light salad or craving a heavier meal, we’ve got you covered. Some of the favorites so far are the Scotch eggs, hot honey caramelized Brussels sprouts, prime short rib grilled cheese, organic kale and roasted sweet potato salad, the house burger with Irish cheddar fondue, and the blackened redfish.
Q: What should we eat first?
MH: The Scotch eggs are a must-try-first, because you can’t find them anywhere else in Morgantown. They’re served with a Citrus Tsunami IPA mustard and truly hit all your taste buds.
Q: And what should we drink?
MH: A must-try first drink for beer lovers is the Study in Scarlet. It’s a cherrywood-smoked vanilla porter designed for cask conditioning and served at cellar temperature directly from the cask beer engine. This black porter is brewed with barley that is gently smoked over cherrywood and then finished with vanilla beans. The ale yields a rich, smokey, and lightly sweet porter reminiscent of fine tobacco. Of course, you can’t go wrong with the brown ale called Cell Block 304, which won a gold medal at the World Beer Cup, the Olympics of beer, in 2018.